Artist - Kirsty White

I am an artist living in Lyall Bay, on Wellington's south coast. Having completed a Bachelor in Spatial Design, I now dedicate myself to Print making, an art form where I’ve been able to draw upon all my artistic disciplines... photography, textiles, painting, drawing, and last but not least, my love of making which I inherited from my Mother. As a passionate Wellington coaster, I am often found sitting around the bays, balancing precariously on rocks and steep banks with my sketch book.

These pen drawings are converted into dry point etchings that are then merged with pattern work - inspired by Pacific Island masi and tapa cloth as well as Maori whakairo. The landscapes are often captured in the oval, like an early black and white photograph or surveyors drawing. Then they are layered within Pacifica/Maori style patterning, enabling me to convey a story and reflecting a sense of the past within a contemporary work. What went on there... among those hills, within that Bay? What type of habitation existed? What was the vegetation like... was flax or raupo traded there? Is there evidence of karaka tree plantation? Was this the best place to collect Bull Kelp for food preservation? Was it a favoured fishing area or trading route, or the site of a battle?

Story telling through pattern work is common across cultures here in the Pacific. I incorporate it into my art as a way to express that identity. This does not dismiss my European heritage, but seeks to weave together ideas of multiculturalism and embrace the place of New Zealand here in the Pacific, my home.